Just because the country is in lockdown to keep us all as safe as possible from Covid-19, does not mean that everyone in lockdown is safe.
This isn’t another thread about Covid-19, it’s a thread about domestic abuse, and what you can do if you think someone you care about or know is suffering within their four walls, particularly whilst the country-wide lockdown is in place.
If you do know someone who is suffering, but who is not yet ready to take action, then you can do the following things to help:
- Listen – let the person talk to you, without fear of judgement or recriminations
- Let him or her know that they are not alone and that you will help wherever you can, they just need to say the word
- Let him or her know that you understand they are in a scary, awkward and difficult position
- Be clear that NO ONE deserves to be treated poorly, be that verbally, financially or physically – nothing the abuser says justifies that level of treatment
- Offer to go to the GP/Hospital if they have suffered physical harm – though of course check with 111 first before going to a hospital
- Offer support if he or she wants to report the matter to the police
- Point out that asking for legal advice may be of assistance
- Let them use your phone or email to receive information – for safety purposes
- Don’t be drawn into the issues too deeply – you need to look after your own mental wellbeing too. If it gets too much, direct him or her to a professional service.
Women’s Aid: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/
National Domestic Violence Hotline: https://www.thehotline.org/
Respect Men’s Advice Line: https://mensadviceline.org.uk/
If the person you suspect of being abused is under the age of 18, you should call your local Children’s Services Department (Child Protection/Children’s Safeguarding – different areas call them different things) – you can find the number by looking on your local authority website.
Non molestation orders can still be applied for on an urgent without notice basis. The family courts remain open – albeit hearings are taking place remotely (phone/video etc.). It may also be possible that the judge will make a decision based on the application and statement submitted. A future hearing will be listed.